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(Update 7. January 2005)





Tempest (Atari 1980)


[ Game Info | Pictures | Manuals/Datasheets | Repair/Restore | ROMs | Reproductions/Spares | Mixed Stuff ]



Game Info

Overview - Tempest was the first color Vector Arcade Game on the market with a vertical 19" vector color monitor. Two player alternating gameplay, high score save of the top 8 players (the top 3 even after power down), two buttons and spinner for control plus a new continue feature even if all lives have been lost. Tempest is said to be the most collected game, probably due to its specific triangle shape cabinet. Designed by Dave Theurer.

Description - The color vector display shows a wireframe tube where five different types of monsters are crawling out of. Not all show up from the beginning, the difficultest one comes firstly in stage 11. The player uses a spinner on the control panel for moving a claw shaped spaceship around the top of the tube and firing at those monsters which appear at the bottom of the tube and quicker and quicker heading towards the player. All enemies can shoot at the player, but their shoots can be destroyed as well. The fire buttons when held shoots burts of shells to the monsters. For emergency purposes the player can use a  "Super Zapper" two times per stage which firstly destroys all enemies and, when pressed the second time will destroy a random enemy. The spinner is very well balanced with enough mass to keep it spinning and to have a good control at the same time.

The game has 16 different playfield designs and 99 skill levels. The operators could select "easy" "medium" or "hard" gameplay and bonus "lives" to be given at varoius points plus the language as english, german, french or spanish. Also they got statistics of average and total game play times for first and second player.

Cabinet Types
» Tempest Upright, October 1981, 25,112 units built @ $2,295
» Tempest Cocktail, December 1981,  1,663 units built @ $2,095
» Tempest Cabaret, December 1981,  2,176 units built @ $2,195

Clones/Bootlegs - not known

Prototypes - Vortex, Aliens,  ...more info later

Other  Info Sources
» Interview with the developer Dave Theurer from Atari about making "Tempest" - http://www.geocities.com/tempestauthorinterview/
» The History of Tempest - http://markn.users.netlink.co.uk/Arcade/tempest.html
» Tempest on K.L.O.V. ( The "Killer" List of Video Games) - www.klov.com
» Tempest Page on Game Archive - http://www.gamearchive.com/Video_Games/Manufacturers/Atari/tempest.html


» Upright Cabinet [ link ]
» Cocktail Table Cabinet [ link ]
» Cabaret / Mini Cabinet [ link ]
» PCBs & other  pics
» Monitor Wells Gardner 6100 / 6400 (19") [ link ]
» Monitor Amplifone (19") [ link ]

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Manuals/Datasheets/Technical Info

Tempest - Upright
» Tempest UR Game Service and Operation Manual - TM-190 2nd
» Tempest UR Game Schematics (Drawing Package - six pages) DP-190 ... -01A -01B -02A -02B -03A -03B
» Tempest Monitor Operations and Service Manual - TM-183 3rd - TM-183 Addendum

Tempest - Cabaret
» Tempest Cabaret Service and Operation Manual - TM-196 1st
» Tempest Cabaret Schematics (Drawing Package - six pages) DP-196 ... -01A -01B -02A -02B -03A -03B
» Tempest Monitor Operations and Service Manual - TM-183 3rd - TM-183 Addendum

Tempest - Cocktail
» Tempest Cocktail Service and Operation Manual - TM-193 1st
» Tempest Cocktail Game Schematics (Drawing Package - six pages) DP-193 ... -01A -01B -02A -02B -03A -03B
» Tempest Monitor Operations and Service Manual - TM-183 3rd - TM-183 Addendum

Tempest - All Models
» Theory of Vector Generators & Vector Monitors - The secret life of Vector Generators  -  The secret life of of Vector MonitorsProgramming the Vector GeneratorTheory of Vector Generators - AVG Description (Atari Internal) 5.2 MByte
» "A Hitchhikers Guide to the Atari Digital Vector Generator" ( Philip Pemberton, Dec. 2005) - [ PDF ]
» Datasheets for electronic components - CPU 6502A - EPROM2716 - PROM 82S129 - Static RAM 2114 - D/A Converter AD561J - TTL Logic 74LSxx
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Repair/Restore/Improve

Repair Tips
» Tempest Theory and Troubleshooting Guide (©1999-2003 Nicholas Sayer) - http://www.kfu.com/~nsayer/games/tempest.html
» Troubleshooting your Tempest Machine (©1991, 1995 Greg Woodcock) - http://www.gamearchive.com/...gw_tempest_troubleshoot.txt
» Tempest Troubleshooting Guide from Atari - TM-195 2nd
» Wells Gardner 6100 color XY Monitor FAQ V1.1. - http://www.ionpool.net/...6100_faq.pdf
» Atari Vector Monitor (WG & Amplifone) Repair/Upgrade INDEX V6.3, see Chapter 10 for Tempest Monitor (©1991, 1996 by Greg Woodcock) - http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/...F_VAtari.html
» Adjust +5V on an Atari AR1 or AR2 Power Supply - http://www.elektronforge.com/AdjustAtariPS.htm

Restore Pages - tbd....

Improvements/Add-ons - LV2000


» Tempest ROMS Rev. 3 as .zip. Twelve (12) 2716 EPROMs needed - http://www.ionpool.net/...tempest_ver3_roms.zip
» Tempest ROMS Rev. 2 as .zip. Twelve (12) 2716 EPROMs needed - http://www.ionpool.net/.../tempest_ver2_roms.zip
» Tempest ROMS Rev. 1 as .zip. Twelve (12) 2716 EPROMs needed - http://www.ionpool.net/...tempest_ver1_roms.zip
» Tempest Mathbox PROMS as .zip file. Six 82S129 and one 82S123 PROMs needed - http://www.ionpool.net/...tempest_mathbox_prom.zip
» Vortex ROMS (Tempest Prototype), see Description - http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari/vortex_roms.zip
» Aliens ROMS (Tempest Prototype), see Description - http://www.ionpool.net/arcade/atari/aliens_roms.zip
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Reproductions/Spares

Spares - General - have a look at the "Link Collection" section to find sources. I can help out with single items, if you don't find them elsewhere. A non conclusive List is in the "Electronics / Parts" section.
Reproductions - The following Reproductions are on the market with a varying grade of quality. Have a look in the "Link Collection" section.
» Upright: Sideart, Control Panel Overlay, Marquee Overlay, Bushing/Knob for Spinner
» Cocktail Table: Control Panel Overlay, Bushing/Knob for Spinner
» Cabaret: Bushing/Knob for Spinner

» Tempest Collector Site - http://www.rocketranch.com/.../tempest.htm
» Paper Tempest (need to scroll down...) - http://www.wayoftherodent.com/pa/pa_staff.htm

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